“Muslims must master all weapons to terrorize the infidels” 8:60

“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them” 8:65

Non-believers believe the Qur’an is full of evil and oppression and promotes terrorism. This is because they do not understand the Qur’an’s context as they read like they do with the bible. I recently received a question in my WhatsApp inbox “My Muslim brother, you claim Islam is a religion of peace, how do you answer this?” He sent me a list of Qur’anic verses which he and others believe the Qur’an is evil.

This article is my answer to the Christian friend and I hope it shall be helpful to Muslim brothers and sister who encounter the same questions.

“Muslims must master all weapons to terrorize the infidels” 8:60

“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them” 8:65

8:59-60 “And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! They cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

There is nothing wrong with Muslims mastering all weapons used by their enemies, in order to get prepared for any attack. And, fortunately almost all countries have a military with arms to defend themselves thus following what this verse says.

The above passage is a historical verse which gave Muslims permission to fight the enemy, which was hostile to the Muslim community. Their goal was to exterminate, kill all Muslims. All one needs to do is read the verse that proceeds. In the next verse (Quran 8:61), Allah orders Muslims that if the enemy were to ‘incline to peace’, then Muslims have incline to peace as-well. But, if the enemy does not want peace, then Allah gives Muslims to engage the enemy until there is no more persecution against Muslims.

Let’s Read 8:61,

8:61 “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

Let’s go further to the verses that follow:

61″And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

62 “And if they intend to deceive you – then surely Allah is sufficient for you; He it is Who strengthened you with His help and with the believers,

63 “And brought together the believers hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.”

64″O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Allah is Sufficient for you and for the believers who follow you.”

65 “O Prophet, urge the believers to battle; if there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.”

66 “For the present Allah has made light your burden, and He knows that there is weakness in you; so if there are a hundred patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a thousand they shall overcome two thousand by Allah’s permission, and Allah is with the patient”.

67 “It is not fit for a prophet that he should take captives unless he has fought and triumphed in the land; you desire the frail goods of this world, while Allah desires (for you) the hereafter; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

68 “Were it not for an ordinance from Allah that had already gone forth, surely there would have befallen you a great chastisement for what you had taken to.”

69 “Eat then of the lawful and good (things) which you have acquired in war, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”.

70 “O Prophet! Say to the captives that are in your hands: “If Allah knows any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

71 “But if they intend to betray you (O Muhammad SAW), they have already betrayed Allah before. So He gave (you) power over them. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.” That is all about Qur’an Surat Al-‘Anfal (8):61-71

This is actually a quite long section of related material. It is talking about when war is necessary and you must fight against others to defend yourself. Keep in mind it is specifically talking about war and the context is the war that the early Muslims were fighting with the Meccans. It was unavoidable and out of self-defense. Being that there is such a huge section of related content to the verses quoted, we only included 11 ayat. I would recommend reading further ahead and following the verses to better understand the context.
It is again not an open invitation to attack any non-Muslim. It is specifically against the people who are oppressing and attacking and breaking their treaties against you.

It continues to say that in war there are captives and that comes only after you’ve subdued the attackers. Then it goes on to tell the Muslim to comfort the captives and tell them that if they have any good in their hearts (not if they convert to Islam mind you just if they have any goodness in them) that Allah will give them something better than what they lost in the battle.

Then it specifies that those captives who intend to betray you then you are their master and if they incline to peace then you should be peaceful to them as well. In addition it specifies that taking those captives and spoils of war were only okay because Allah gave special permission during this instance. In other words it is not normally okay to take those captives and goods and doing such would normally earn you a great torment/chastisement. It is not advocating war, it’ not advocating slaughter, it’s not even advocating seizing the enemies properties or taking them prisoner. In fact at parts it is very specific that these passages about war actually are specific to prophets not just anyone limiting the context of what can actually be done to this instance.